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Why Nobody Cares about Your Features

September 2009by Moshe Engelberg, Ph.D.


The PC industry has recently "discovered" that people don't care so much about cache size and benchmark scores. According to the New York Times, one chip manufacturer announced a new marketing program in conjunction with big box stores that "emphasizes computer uses over specifications." Already?

When I taught smoking cessation programs at Kaiser many years ago, we moved from describing program features: "Twelve weeks of 90 minute sessions covering these topics..." to focusing on benefits: "We'll help you quit and stay quit by providing you..." The emphasis on benefits grabbed people's attention and increased enrollment. The message hit home.

Think about it this way:   Features=Description   Benefits=Satisfaction

Nobody wants a 120 GB hard drive just to have 120 gigabytes. That's a description. They want a big enough hard drive to hold what they want. So tell them what it holds. That's a benefit. The key is to know your audience. Ask yourself why they "should" care about each specific feature of your product or service. Then ask your customers so you really know.

Do you make it easy for customers to understand how they benefit from your product or service?

Moshe Engelberg, Ph.D., M.P.H.
ResearchWorks, Inc.
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